After yesterday’s game with Aston Villa, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis was interviewed on Fox Sports show, Goals on Sunday. He spoke about the team, the January transfer window, Arsenal’s business model and more.
Arseblog News has the full transcript below.
Christian Miles: Right now, joining us on the phone is Chief Executive – AND former MLS Deputy Commissioner – Ivan Gazidis. Ivan, thanks for taking the time here … let’s get your thoughts, I mean, what a great comeback from your boys.
IG: Yeah, it was a great, great show of character, I thought, tonight. Two-nil down at half time, and our backs were against the wall but I thought we came out in the second half and really played the way we can play and got the wide players involved and managed to get the opportunities and a little bit of luck as well and it all came together, so fantastic atmosphere in the stadium as well, pushing the boys on.
CM: Ivan, a tough week in the lead up here, three consecutive losses in the Barclay’s Premier League but: The transfer window is closing on Tuesday Night. Any new faces on the way?
IG: Well, We always keep that news very close to our chest that, you know, the last transfer window a lot of things happened on the deadline day. I think what we’re seeing in this window generally is a little bit less activity. It’s difficult to find really top quality in the January window. You’re half way through the season, so clubs are very reluctant to let their best players go at this time of year. And I think you’re seeing, around the league, that to be the case. So, um, we’ll see how the next 48 hours plays out, but in general there hasn’t been a lot of movement.
Warren Barton: And you’re also keeping a lot of things close to your chest. With Arsene Wenger, has he got a budget? Has he got money to spend, or is he going to work under a budget you’ve given him?
IG: [big breath intake] You know, it’s interesting – there seems to be some mystery about this, but we’re about the least mysterious club in the world [Warren laughs], we’re a public company. We publish our accounts. Anybody can have a look at them, they’re publicly available, you can look at them, and you can pretty much work out what our monetary situation is.
All of the money we make is available to us, and to spend, and you know, we don’t pay dividends to our owners. All the money stays in the club, and is reinvested and after – and over – time has done a superb job. We one of only two clubs that has been in Champion’s League consistently in the past decade and a half, and we continue to do well, we continue to aim to stay right at the top of the game. And all of the money the club generates is available for Arsene.
WB: So he obviously doesn’t spend it then!
[Warren and Kyle Martino laugh to each other]
Keith Costigan: Well, Ivan —
IG: [Cuts in] He … he spends it. But he spends it with a view not just to the short term, but also to the long term, so uh, you know, people don’t think about Oxlade-Chamberlain, but we spent a lot of money on Oxlade-Chamberlain. We believe that this is a young player who is an exciting prospect, and there are a lot of clubs in the Premier League that would love to have him, believe me. Laurent Koscielny, who I believe is turning into one of the best defenders in League. Thomas Vermaelen. These are all players that have been signed in the last couple of years and people just tend to forget about that and all of them required significant investment.
Keith Costigan: Well, Ivan, we seem to always, to continuously hear about this business model that Arsenal run on. You talked about some of the signings they made over the few (two?) years. But does this business model stop you competing for the very elite players and spending astronomical amounts on one or two players?
IG: It does mean we can’t afford to compete with oil money, and we can’t afford to compete with from, you know, super-wealthy individuals from Russia. But I think the more important thing that our model is that it’s sustainable. So, if we’ve learned anything from the world’s economic crisis, it has to be that football clubs need to have responsibility – not just for today, but for their own futures. And, you know, our business model means that we can continue to do what we’re doing forever.
Our focus is *always* on young players, we’ve got fantastic development system and still there are young players coming through consistently from our youth ranks and that’ll continue to be the way Arsenal do things. We play football in a certain way, a little bit different to everyone else. We develop our team that’s a little bit different to everybody else. And, yes. We can’t afford to spend 50, 60, 70 million pounds on an individual player. But, we’re proud of the way we do things, and we’re proud of the results that we’re able to produce from that.
Kyle Martino: Now, Ivan. SIX years without a trophy. The fans are anxious, and there’s no doubt Arsene Wenger’s had a legendary career. But does he need to get a trophy and is it time to say that maybe he doesn’t have a job for life?
[gives really odd, knowing, smug look to the camera. Sorry, for editorializing, but it’s really smug – sort of a nudge nudge, wink wink sort of look.]
IG: Well, nobody has a job for life! And of course our objective is always to win trophies, and it is this year as it has been before. We’re in three competitions this year. You know, Manchester City would *love* to be in three competitions. They’re not. [Warren laughs] You know, so, money is not, is not everything in this game. I don’t disagree that it’s important. But we do things based on a value system. We’re about creating star players, not about buying them. We’re about what happens in a team, between players, not individual superstars. And I think that’s an inspiration to people around the world.
People I meet from all around the world, when they think about Arsenal Football Club, think about the style with which we play the game. And our fans have tremendous pride in that. Now of course there’s anxiety when the clubs are spending the kind of money they’re spending. We don’t believe that’s sustainable for the long term. We think that has to come to an end. UEFA agrees with us and is bringing limits on spending in, and we’ll continue to do things the way we do them. And as I say, we’re proud of that. And we’re happy we’ve got one of the greatest managers that the world’s ever seen at the helm of that.
Christian Miles; Hey, Ivan, we want to thank you for joining us. Best of luck for the rest of the season.
IG: Great. Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate it
Transcript provided by James and Betty – many thanks guys!